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Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed cells are a danger for the Middle East region
For many countries in the Middle East, facing down ISIS has involved not only their armed forces but militias as well. Multiple militias throughout the region have been backed in some way or another by the Iranian regime, thus expanding its influence.

In Iraq, for example, the reality is that now that ISIS has been driven out of the country, the Iran-linked Shia paramilitary groups could be the spark that starts a new wave of sectarian violence within the country. Senior lawmakers and top leaders in the Iraqi government face the task of knitting the often-feuding segments of Iraqi society together.

"Our message is not to be desperate" for US or international intervention to avoid renewed fighting between Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and other minorities, Salim al-Jubouri, speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, told the Washington-based think tank US Institute for Peace.

"The impetus is to build the national state of Iraq," said al-Jubouri, while avoiding a new round of sectarian violence. One of the keys to doing so is to disband these militias while strengthening the Iraqi army and security forces.

He is not the only one in the Iraqi government to point out the potential problems these militias can be. The loyalty of these militias has been questioned, as they seem to be a direct line to the Iranian regime.

"They have their own political aspirations, their own [political] agendas," said Iraqi Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi. He sees them acting as a parallel force to the Iraqi military, which could be considered dangerous for the future of Iraq.

During all of these discussions, the Kurdish lawmakers have ended their boycott of the national parliament, with the hope that they can cox the Abadi government into negotiation over the status of Kurdistan. Shia militias, backed by Iran, have been part of offenses meant to retake territory from Kurdish forces, but it is also clear that these tactics are just pushing off discussions about the future of the Kurds in Iraq. Iran is also actively oppressing the Kurds in their own country.

However, Iraq is not the only country who has identified Iran's influence within their own borders. A terrorist cell, which is being backed by the Iranian regime, has been identified in Bahrain. The spokesperson from Bahrain's interior ministry noted that there were several terrorist acts that had been planned by this cell that included terror fugitives from Iran.

One of the cell's members was arrested. Zuhair Ebrahim Jassim Abdullah Abas was apprehended on charges relating to the attack on a police bus that killed one police officer and wounded nine others. Abas was believed to be one of five men that were part of this terror cell. The five terrorists were originally in Iran and traveled into Bahrain via Syria.

"Cell members were trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on how to plan and execute bomb attacks. This included training on how to plant bombs. The types of explosives used included TNT, RDX, and C4. They were also taught how to make molds for shaped charges and received training on the technical aspects of bomb-making. They were trained to handle tasers, AK-47s, M16s, RPGs, and pistols," said authorities in Bahrain.

There are concerns that the Iranian regime is using the small country to fuel its policies and ambitions to regional hegemony. The relations between these two countries have been strained for decades.

These are just two examples of Iran's

In Iraq, for example, the reality is that now that ISIS has been driven out of the country, the Iran-linked Shia paramilitary groups could be the spark that starts a new wave of sectarian violence within the country. Senior lawmakers and top leaders in the Iraqi government face the task of knitting the often-feuding segments of Iraqi society together.

"Our message is not to be desperate" for US or international intervention to avoid renewed fighting between Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and other minorities, Salim al-Jubouri, speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, told the Washington-based think tank US Institute for Peace.

"The impetus is to build the national state of Iraq," said al-Jubouri, while avoiding a new round of sectarian violence. One of the keys to doing so is to disband these militias while strengthening the Iraqi army and security forces.

He is not the only one in the Iraqi government to point out the potential problems these militias can be. The loyalty of these militias has been questioned, as they seem to be a direct line to the Iranian regime.

"They have their own political aspirations, their own [political] agendas," said Iraqi Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi. He sees them acting as a parallel force to the Iraqi military, which could be considered dangerous for the future of Iraq.

During all of these discussions, the Kurdish lawmakers have ended their boycott of the national parliament, with the hope that they can cox the Abadi government into negotiation over the status of Kurdistan. Shia militias, backed by Iran, have been part of offenses meant to retake territory from Kurdish forces, but it is also clear that these tactics are just pushing off discussions about the future of the Kurds in Iraq. Iran is also actively oppressing the Kurds in their own country.

However, Iraq is not the only country who has identified Iran's influence within their own borders. A terrorist cell, which is being backed by the Iranian regime, has been identified in Bahrain. The spokesperson from Bahrain's interior ministry noted that there were several terrorist acts that had been planned by this cell that included terror fugitives from Iran.

One of the cell's members was arrested. Zuhair Ebrahim Jassim Abdullah Abas was apprehended on charges relating to the attack on a police bus that killed one police officer and wounded nine others. Abas was believed to be one of five men that were part of this terror cell. The five terrorists were originally in Iran and traveled into Bahrain via Syria.

"Cell members were trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on how to plan and execute bomb attacks. This included training on how to plant bombs. The types of explosives used included TNT, RDX, and C4. They were also taught how to make molds for shaped charges and received training on the technical aspects of bomb-making. They were trained to handle tasers, AK-47s, M16s, RPGs, and pistols," said authorities in Bahrain.

There are concerns that the Iranian regime is using the small country to fuel its policies and ambitions to regional hegemony. The relations between these two countries have been strained for decades.

These are just two examples of Iran's attempts to influence countries throughout the region by means of force and military might. Syria is another example of Iran's open use of force to become a force within that country.

However, Hezbollah could be counted as the Iranian regime's most successful effort to date. This militia has been backed financially by Iran and is now a political force in the country. The current prime minister even issued his resignation, citing the increasing influence of Hezbollah and Iran in Lebanese politics. From militia and terror organization to a political party, it is clear that Iran's regime has integrated itself into the government of this country.

For the mullahs, this is a model that they want to continue to duplicate throughout the region. Currently, they are working with the rebel Houthis in Yemen, which has essentially driven out the internationally recognized Yemen government. This group is also attacked Saudi Arabia, which seems to be a jab by Iran at its old enemy.

The Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir noted that Hezbollah has hijacked Lebanon and this Iranian-backed group is the source of Lebanon's problems. He also described Hezbollah as one of Iran's most dangerous weapons and a major threat to the security of the region. Saad Hariri, the Lebanese Prime Minister, resigned citing fears that the Iranian regime and Hezbollah were plotting to assassinate him. He also noted that Hezbollah completely disregards Lebanon's policy to avoid involving itself in other countries throughout the region. The Lebanese President Michel Aoun has indicated that he believes Hariri is being held by the Saudis and being forced to resign over supposed leniency towards Hezbollah. He did not accept Hariri's resignation. The Saudis and Hariri have denied this.

Within just these few countries, it is clear that Iran's influence is negatively impacting the peace of the region and the international community needs to stand up to Iran, letting them know that enough is enough.

attempts to influence countries throughout the region by means of force and military might. Syria is another example of Iran's open use of force to become a force within that country.

However, Hezbollah could be counted as the Iranian regime's most successful effort to date. This militia has been backed financially by Iran and is now a political force in the country. The current prime minister even issued his resignation, citing the increasing influence of Hezbollah and Iran in Lebanese politics. From militia and terror organization to a political party, it is clear that Iran's regime has integrated itself into the government of this country.

For the mullahs, this is a model that they want to continue to duplicate throughout the region. Currently, they are working with the rebel Houthis in Yemen, which has essentially driven out the internationally recognized Yemen government. This group is also attacked Saudi Arabia, which seems to be a jab by Iran at its old enemy.

The Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir noted that Hezbollah has hijacked Lebanon and this Iranian-backed group is the source of Lebanon's problems. He also described Hezbollah as one of Iran's most dangerous weapons and a major threat to the security of the region. Saad Hariri, the Lebanese Prime Minister, resigned citing fears that the Iranian regime and Hezbollah were plotting to assassinate him. He also noted that Hezbollah completely disregards Lebanon's policy to avoid involving itself in other countries throughout the region. The Lebanese President Michel Aoun has indicated that he believes Hariri is being held by the Saudis and being forced to resign over supposed leniency towards Hezbollah. He did not accept Hariri's resignation. The Saudis and Hariri have denied this.

Within just these few countries, it is clear that Iran's influence is negatively impacting the peace of the region and the international community needs to stand up to Iran, letting them know that enough is enough.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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